Mumbai: Rahul Dravid, who retired from all forms of cricket earlier this year, will be nominated for the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, sources have said. Opener Gautam Gambhir will be nominated for the Padma Shri. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to send in these recommendations to the government soon.
Rahul Dravid, 39, played for over 16 years for India before hanging up his boots in March this year. In that decade and a half he was India's Mr Dependable, called the Wall for his steady batting that won the team many a match.
His former and younger teammate, Gambhir, continues to feature in the national side. In 9 years of playing international cricket, Gambhir has some stellar performances in every form of cricket to show for his efforts and justify his nomination for the country's fourth highest civilian award.
Cricketers have been presented with the civilian awards earlier as well; quite a few have been honoured with the Padma Shri. Sachin Tendulkar is the only cricketer who has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award. He was honoured in 2008. Nine cricketers have received the Padma Bhushan including Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Vinoo Mankad and Lala Amarnath.
The order of civilian awards from highest is as follows: Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.